This Bolognese-style ragu recipe is perfect for when I have some time on my hands—usually on a Sunday. I enjoy making a rich, hearty Bolognese-style pasta sauce (ragu) to serve for a family dinner.
In Bologna, Italy, where Bolognese sauce originated, there are as many different ragu recipes as there are cooks. This is one that I really like. If you have the time, I suggest grinding fresh meat for the sauce yourself, rather than buying pre-ground meat at the supermarket.
Ingredients for Bolognese-style ragu:
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium carrot, minced
2 celery sticks, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, minced
3/4 lb. ground beef
3/4 lb. ground pork or veal
1/2 lb. bacon or pancetta, diced
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
5-6 cups of fresh tomato sauce or 2 28-oz. cans Italian-style plum tomatoes with their juices or crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup cream
salt & pepper, to taste
red-chili flakes (optional)
Method for Bolognese ragu:
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the carrots, celery, garlic and onion until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Don’t allow the onions and garlic to brown.
2. Add all the ground meats to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the tomato paste, wine and thyme, stir well and bring to a boil.
4. Next, add the tomatoes and bring back to the boil. When the sauce reaches the boiling point, lower the heat and allow it to simmer on medium-low, uncovered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the cream to the ragu and allow to simmer a few minutes, just to heat the cream through. Stir well. The cream will give the ragu an orange hue and thicken it a bit.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add a couple of pinches of red-pepper flakes, but that’s entirely optional and not very traditional.
This Bolognese-style ragu recipe for your favorite pasta is a sure thing—you’ll love it!.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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